#Thegreatpoolpondconversion - 200823
No pictures this week.
Yvette has flown the coop and no one new has shown up.
And the work we did just doesn’t rate photos.
We split ourselves off into separate jobs.
- Powerwashing and staining the deck for her.
- Building the first growing bed frame for him.
Who wants to see pictures of post holes or no longer dirty pavers?
Or us soggy from another very very hot afternoon of work?
Instead, we’re gonna let out some big news:
We’re building a second waterfall!
One of the basic elements of our master plan was that there would be no filter.
A filter would involve electricity, regular attention and maintenance, etc.
So we researched just enough to be comfortable that we could balance a still water pond.
About a week or so after filling we got a little panicky and started second guessing ourselves.
It looked a bit off in color, the visibility was dropping and there was a lot of algae growth.
Who knew that all this was mostly normal?
Just in case balancing didn’t work in the long run for whatever reason, we did have a sort of vague filtration contingency plan from the beginning.
We started discussing it in more detail.
If we *had* to have one, there were several big questions: What kind, where to put it, how to integrate it with the rest of the deck design and plans.
Well we were clever. We came up with a brilliant idea and decided to go ahead. Then a few weeks passed and things sort of settled down. Right now we still probably don’t need one. And since the pond should remain well balanced, we wouldn’t ‘need’ a lot of filtering at all. There are many videos of very large filter systems on ponds much smaller than ours. They all want crystal clear water and likely have an imbalance of too many large fish (like Koi) and too little plant life (the koi just ravage it.) And they like to show off their hobbies.
What we’re gonna do overall it’s simple, cheap, quick, and will contribute for sure, even if it isn’t the most efficient system out there.
The design became so compelling, so absolutely ‘us’, and the engineering so ridiculously easy, that we just have to do it anyway.
So it’s happening.
- What kind
We decided on a simple, DIY, gravity based shower filter. Also called a Bakki filter.
True to our plan, we will use the same type of small, solar powered bilge pump that the waterfall uses.
It will be quiet, no moving parts / totally passive except for the pump, require almost no maintenance and be unobtrusive.
(Nothing like an electric swimming pool pump and filter or an irrigation pump.)
A stack of rubber bins out in the open would be an unforgivable eyesore and a total distraction. And the further you set it away, how do you return the water? Pipes that have to be covered or hidden or camouflaged on the concrete deck? Nope, not for us. Instead of trying to hide the returning water, we’re gonna focus on it. It’ll flow down an open, rock covered ramp-like chute. A sort of mini flume. When it gets to the edge, the water will drop about 6 inches into the pond. The trickling water action inside the bins (you’ll see) plus the fall at the end should help nicely with aeration for the fish.
It will be set almost 10 feet away from the pond border, between some trees and one of the - yet to be built - growing bed frames.
We’ll be able to extend the design of the bed rails up and around the stack of bins so it won’t show at all. And now there’s also someplace to hide the solar panel.
It’ll be integrated perfectly with the look of the rest of the deck.
We can probably build the mechanics in 3-4 days. Then another couple to build the wood frame and screen. Piece of cake.
What it has done is make the solar a bit more complicated than we planned. Today it’s only one small-ish (2’x3’) panel and one 50 watt pump. So, sun = waterfall, little sun = little waterfall, no sun = no waterfall. Whichever way we point the panel, it either catches early morning or late afternoon rays better. And now we have to be sure the one panel can generate enough juice for two pumps.
This is not complicated, just not part of the original plan. We’re going to start with a very small solar controller and a small battery. What it should do is smooth out the operation of the pumps. They’ll run at constant speed or not at all, until the battery recharges.
This gives us a lot of flexibility to see what happens and then add incrementally. We won’t initially oversize or complicate the whole thing.
If we want the pumps to run longer after the sun goes down or on cloudy days, add a battery - easy.
If we need more juice, add another panel. Wiring 2 or more panels together is much easier with the help of a solar controller.
And then we can point them in different directions to solve the AM/PM thing.
We don’t want to reveal too much or else you’ll stop reading the updates. ;-)
Stay tuned for progress reports and pictures.
Here’s an index of all the postings in #thegreatpoolpondconversion